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Submitting to Film Festivals

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  • Submitting to Film Festivals

    Hello everyone,

    I'm fairly new to this forum as a member but I've been following and learning a lot from the threads on this site. I'm about to enter post-production on a short I'm working on (shot on the BMCC) and was just wondering which film festivals would be good to submit to? I missed the Sundance deadline, but I'm searching for other festivals to give my film a shot once it's finished. Are there any that come to mind for you guys? Perhaps online festivals as well? Thank you!

    Stephen N.

  • #2
    Best thing to do is register an account with Short Film Depot ( and/or Withoutabox ( every worthwhile festival is detailed in them and nearly all of them allow submissions straight from them.

    At the least register and it tells you what festivals are currently taking submissions.


    • #3
      Phoenix is my favorite festival. last year they had 23,000 attendees. we knew no one in the area but still sold out two out of three screenings. And the people who run it are awesome.
      DOWN AND DANGEROUS :: A smuggler bleeds like anyone else. He just gets more chances to prove it.


      • #4
        Stephen, first you should have a "festival strategy". Not all festivals are good for your film, even if it's a short film. What Sundance is looking for is different from Toronto or SXSW. Some festivals, usually the largest or more prestigious will want a premier, and by accepting a smaller fest you may miss the big one. Some film festivals are for the industry (Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Guadalajara, San Sebastian), some are for the audience.
        Do your homework and create a strategy, and get ready for rejections and awards, all with the same movie.


        • #5
          Tribeca are currently open for submissions:


          • #6
            I've had great experiences at It really streamlines the process and makes submitting to festivals only a few clicks away. You can read about each festival's goals and motives to determine if your film is a good fit.
            JB Schiess
            Textbook Productions


            • #7
              +1 for Withoutabox. I would guess 90% of festivals now use Withoutabox and many ONLY accept submissions through them. It definitely streamlines the process.


              • #8
                Oberhausen Short Film Festival is the most important festival for short movies in Germany and together with Clermont-Ferrand the most important in Europe.


                Deadline for the next edition is 14 January 2014


                Deadline for the next edition is October 14, 2013


                • #9
                  Wow, lot's of great responses! Thank you guys for the feedback! I'll definitely check out Withoutabox for sure and try to work my way from the festivals with more exposure, down to the more local and low-key ones if it doesn't make it to the bigger ones. Appreciate your help everyone!


                  • #10
                    Read the festival forums. You may be disappointed.

                    I like many - after 25 yrs in this business look on Festivals very badly. 90% are in the business of collecting fees - they keep them even if you are rejected which you will be 90% of the time. So be selective and do not aim too high - it's a waste of your fee. The problem of withoutabox is that they make entering festivals almost too easy and after a few clicks and $75 later - you are done!!
                    Is it really worth entering festivals that are almost unknown... the cost is not just the fee. You have to produce a lot of marketing material if you are accepted and your film in various formats or on tape... on and on.

                    Sorry to be negative but be careful and do your homework.